on August 23, 2011
I used to love these things whenever I saw them in doctors' offices growing up! My item arrived in the mail today. This item is smooth, quite large and appears well made (in China, but, well, what can you do?). It's obviously not for me but for my currently 7 month old son. I just checked and the item said 2 years and up. I think he will be fine with it and I see some other reviewers have given it to younger children also. The only thing I would be aware of for a very young child like him is that everything still get's sucked on and the beads do smell like paint to me - so, I'll probably just let him play with it while I'm around and discourage sucking in favor and looking and touching until he gets a tiny bit older. But, overall, it does look very nicely made. As for the construction materials the base is made of Pine, lightly varnished, the beads are waterpainted Chinese Maple and the wire, well, it's wire covered in some sort of plastic (TPE 5 actually). I purchased it because of the reviews, and, although expensive(!!!), I think it will pay for itself over time. Should last through a whole family.
on August 14, 2008
This toy is amazing. It is educational, sturdy, and very fun and addicting. The craftsmanship of the item is excellent as well. I am a little disappointed that Educo started making these toys in China instead of Canada, because I believe the quality has decreased somewhat, but it is still very well put together, and I would recommend it for anyone who is looking for that perfect toy.
on June 11, 2014
Have no fear about the manufacturing quality here. This is a well-made toy. The shaped beads do not break. The wires are smooth, sturdy, and do not bend or come loose. In fact, you can carry this big toy by the wires if need be. The solid wood base is smooth as well, heavy enough to anchor the toy evenly anywhere, but not too heavy that it is a chore to move around. Your toddler will probably be able to carry it. :)
The problem is that the price really is too high. I almost did not buy this toy because of the cost. And if you look at all the other similar toys offered by Hape, they are way too expensive as well. Such a shame. It is nice when a company manufactures something well.
If you can spare the money, go for it. Little ones will keep busy on this toy for many minutes at a time. The spiraling wires are colorful and creative. They definitely will build motor skills and problem-solving skills. Plus, it's fun to whip beads around corners like a maniac when all is said and done. :)
on January 15, 2012
I've seen them in most pediatrician offices, but I have never bought one for any of our 4 kids, but this Christmas I decided to get one for my 18 month old grandson and he LOVES it! Just the fact that it is so colorful makes it attractive for little ones, but my favorite thing about it is that it's not too heavy for them to pick up and move a bit, but it's too heavy for them to wing at other kids in the house if they're having a tantrum. Also the wires that the beads run along are incredibly strong and I've seen the older kids in the house leaning on them and they never lose their shape or break. A VERY sturdy and educational product for little ones. :)
on June 16, 2010
This bead maze is very good quality - all the beads are wooden and well-sanded, none of the wires are loose, and it has survived being dumped over and carried around for several months. It's not my son's favorite toy, but it is one that he keeps going back to. He likes to feel the different beads and push them along their paths, figuring out how to pass them from one hand to another and push them just far enough so they'll go down the next hump. I think that it is something he will keep going back to as he gets older, and am very happy with this purchase.
on September 10, 2013
I thought this was a great toy to invest in. The kids have never played with it as much as I thought they might. I got it because they liked the one at the doctors office so well, but the novelty wore off fairly quick. Because it is a nice wooden toy, I will probably keep it though. Someday I may have grandkids :)